Jewish history gives today’s Christians an alternative to cultural secession.
Why is Jesus the most controversial and the most embarrassing name in the world?
No one is embarrassed if you talk about Buddha, or Muhammad, or Moses. Neither Buddhists nor non-Buddhists are embarrassed to talk about Buddha. Why are almost all educated, non-fundamentalist Christians embarrassed to talk about Jesus to non-Christians, and why are almost all non-Christians embarrassed to hear such talk?
If you’re not sure my assumption is true, test it, in any secular company, or mixed company, especially educated company. The name will fall with a thud, and produce sudden silence and embarrassment. You not only hear the embarrassment, you can feel it. The temperature drops. Or rises. It never stays the same.
You might answer that Christians are embarrassed not for themselves but for others: they are embarrassed only because they are sensitive to the embarrassment they know the name of Jesus will cause to non-Christians. But that only pushes the mystery back one step: why are non-Christians so embarrassed at this name? Why is “Jesus” the most non-neutral name in the world?
Jesus talk is like sex talk. There is no neutral language for sex. All our words about sex are either “sexy” or an attempt to avoid being “sexy”. They are either (1) the ecstatic language of love, or (2) the gutter language of raunch, or (3) the tension-releasing language of the laugh (sex and religion are the two most popular subjects of jokes), or (4) the deliberately impersonal, scientific, and technological language of clinical medicine. And our words about Jesus are either (1) love-words, or (2) blasphemy words, or (3) jokes, or (4) impersonal, technical, theological words.
Jesus is a sword. He divides. You cannot be neutral about Him until you make a deliberate effort to thrust something away, something in your heart: either passionate attraction or passionate rejection of something, or at least deep embarrassment at something. Is it just at Christians? Is it at Christianity? Or is it at Christ?
Why is He history’s greatest divider? Why is He the razor edge of the round world? What does He do to you, to put you on that edge, no matter who you are and no matter what you believe or don’t believe?
Abortion is the Antichrist’s demonic parody of the Eucharist. That is why it uses the same holy words, “This is my body,” with the blasphemously opposite meaning. - Peter Kreeft
I think this is the best way to view the old testament. It is at least the least messy serious way to view the “hard verses” without heresy.
This is a great little piece for all the Star Wars fans out there.
Excellent article by Rod Dreher. I especially like his discussion of hope.
As I’ve said here before, people often confuse hope with optimism. I am not an optimist. I generally expect bad things to happen, and am pleasantly surprised when they don’t. But I have great reserves of hope. How to explain this? Well, hope is not the conviction that good things will happen. Hope is the conviction that ultimately, all things work for the glory of God, and that at some point in the future, all will be redeemed. The practical effect of this is to rejoice that there is meaning in our suffering, that when things go bad, God is there and calls to us in our darkness. I never believed my sister would survive her cancer diagnosis, but I always had hope that the glory of God could be manifest in her suffering, and that if she died in faith, she would live forever with Him — and, by the grace of God, we would all join her someday.
If hope means saying, “You’re going to live!” when you don’t believe that’s true, then to hell with hope. I say hope means saying, “Whether you live or die, God is with you, and with us all, and He loves you and can redeem this terrible thing.”
From an orthodox Christian point of view, the short term, and near long term, for the faith in our culture and civilization looks pretty bleak. I can easily imagine a liberal, modernist Christian believing that things are looking up, but I don’t understand how anybody who holds to the non-modernist understanding of Christianity can believe that. And I think it is dangerous to lie to ourselves about where we are, and what’s likely to come next. We should prepare ourselves spiritually and otherwise for a time of trial — and seriously, there may be no greater trial than to try to hold on to our faith, and pass it on to our children, in a time of great wealth, liberty, and apostasy.
The Anti-Environmentalist Culture of “Coal Rolling”
"Coal rolling" is a trend in which truck drivers alter their vehicles to produce unusually large amounts of sooty black exhaust, often through smoke stack-like exhaust pipes. The subculture reflects an anti-environmentalist attitude—proponents calling the smoke "Prius Repellant"—where coal and pollution is associated with manliness, identity, and a way of life seemingly endangered by the "liberal" agenda. An unnamed Wisconsin seller of smoke stack kits explained some of the rationale behind the movement to Slate's David Weigel, saying “If he’s into the environment, if he’s into this or that, we’re not….To get a single stack on my truck—that’s my way of giving them the finger. You want clean air and a tiny carbon footprint? Well, screw you.” As Elizabeth Kulze notes on Vocativ, “coal rollers” have expanded their community online through Facebook (16,000 collective followers), Tumblr, and Instagram (156,714 posts), among other forms of social media.
Is this a real thing? Seriously?
I drive a diesel (VW TDI) vehicle, think Prius drivers are typically entitled traffic cloggers, don’t like Obama, and think ‘global warming’ is a scam, but this is idiotic.
You just can’t give rednecks money. I think these people have a right to modify their vehicles, but that doesn’t translate into a right to impair driver visibility on public roadways. Have some consideration for your fellow travelers.
Rod Dreher linked to this article and I thought it was interesting.
I’m not a new urbanism, but I work in transportation and urban planning, so I find this concept of a church centered development interesting as a possible way of contributing and restoring community to our communities. The atomized nature of our current arrangement is alienating and unsustainable from a societal standpoint. The biggest challenges of these communities would be fighting the urge to be insular and attracting a broad profile of residents… Most churches seem to attract many of the same type of people (not a complaint, but an observation)… Mine is youngish, upper middle class professionals with a very separate Hispanic community.
Still, better than the current system in many ways.
28 June 1914: Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg
From top to bottom: Franz Ferdinand and his wife leaving the Sarajevo Hall, After Shot, Gavrilo Princip being caught, the news, the funeral, Franz Ferdinand’s uniform
The beginning of the decline of western civilization? What would have been if events had unfolded differently?